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Special cell formed to deal with power thefts, govt tells HC


powerMumbai: A special cell headed by a high-ranking police officer has been formed to deal with power thefts ahead of Ganesh festival and Navrati festival, Maharashtra government today told the Bombay High Court.

The cell, headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (enforcement), would keep watch on temporary electricity connections given to organisers of festivals, government pleader Aruna Kamat-Pai told the division bench headed by Justice P V Hardas.

Other members of the cell are vigilance officer of city power utility BEST and a representative of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, she said.

The High Court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar alleging that power is stolen brazenly during these festivals by rigging up supply from street.

The government pleader also placed before the court minutes of a meeting called by Mumbai Police Commissioner on August 12 with representatives of MCGM, power companies, Ganesh Mandals and the petitioner to discuss ways to check power thefts.

The court asked the petitioner if he had any suggestions, while posting the matter for further hearing to August 25. If the petitioner had no suggestions to give then, then the court may accept the minutes, the judges said.

Mumbai’s power demand is around 2,600 MW whereas Tata Power Company and Reliance Energy together provide only 2,300 MW at present. Maharashtra is facing shortage of around 3,000-3,500 MW during morning and evening peak hours.


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